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Leinster will be punished if Ulster's world-class winger Jacob Stockdale is given space, warns Larmour

 

Huge talent: Ulster ace Jacob Stockdale has Leinster on red alert
Huge talent: Ulster ace Jacob Stockdale has Leinster on red alert
Jonathan Bradley

By Jonathan Bradley

Having gone head-to-head plenty in training over the last two months, Leinster's Jordan Larmour believes his Ulster counterpart Jacob Stockdale is a "world-class" operator.

With Stockdale sure to be in Ulster's 11 jersey for Saturday's Champions Cup quarter-final against their near neighbours, Larmour figures to be in direct opposition at the Aviva Stadium.

It'll be a familiar experience to the Six Nations just past when the pair were Irish team-mates at Carton House.

"I suppose whenever he's on the starting team I'm on the bibs," noted Larmour.

"Training against him, he's a quality player, he's world class and some of the tries he scores are a bit of a joke.

"So we are going to have to have all hands on deck when he gets the ball and just be ready for anything they come with.

"His skillset is world class so you give him the ball in a bit of space and he can chip it over you, go around you or go through you because he's a big man.

"He can score a try from anywhere so we have to be ready for that."

Such familiarity will be a common theme for many of those going into battle this weekend. Having been united in a green jersey since the end of January until some 11 days ago, an inter-pro rivalry on the European stage throws up numerous intriguing clashes.

"There's a few familiar faces but I think we'll (still) do our homework on Ulster," said Larmour. "Just to pick up anything we can on all their players and how they like to play the game. We did a bit of that on (Monday) morning. Throughout the week we'll just keep building and trying to do as much prep as we can. Then we can come up with a game plan that we can hopefully win with."

Larmour's last game was against Wales in the Six Nations so, like his fellow internationals, he will be moving from one pressure situation to another. The 21-year-old, though, says he and his colleagues are relishing the prospect of yet another high-stakes contest.

"It's finals rugby," he said. "We've been preparing all season to try and put us in the best spot to get us here.

"This is the rugby you want to be playing, you want to be in finals and you want to be winning them.

"I wouldn't say it's fear, but everyone, looking around the group, might be a bit giddy this week because it's knockout rugby and everybody wants to be involved, so training will keep ramping up, keep building and then, come Saturday, we'll just let it all loose."

Larmour was just 15-years-old when Ulster last won in Dublin but he is putting little stock in past results, especially January's 40-7 home win in the RDS.

"I think they have a few players who have come back from injury and the internationals as well," he said.

"The likes of Jordi (Murphy), Marty Moore, John Cooney, who used to be in Leinster, I'm sure they have a point to prove too."

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